The EPR nuclear reactor in Olkiluoto, Finland, became operational for the first time last night, announced this Tuesday the entity that runs the plant, 12 years after construction began.
According to the same source, the reactor built by the French group Areva began operating at 03:22 (01:22 in Lisbon).
Finnish energy company TVO said in a statement that electricity production is expected to start at around 30 percent of electricity in January before normal operation from June 2022. “The start time was historic. It was the last time a reactor was built in Finland more than more than a year ago. 40 years and even in Europe the same event dates back to the beginning of the twenty-first century,” confirms the operator of the Olkiluoto plant, referring to the Romanian reactor that began operating in 2007.
The Olkiluoto reactor project, described as the most powerful in Europe, was launched in 2005 in southwestern Finland, but has suffered many delays and financial shifts.
With a production capacity of 1,650 megawatts, the reactor should supply about 15% of the country’s consumption.
The reactor was supplied in March, but the Finnish nuclear regulator allowed it to operate only last week.
Although it was designed to re-launch nuclear power – which was much criticized after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 – the new reactor was fitted with a “large” concrete structure.
To date, only two reactors have been built worldwide at the Taishan plant in the People’s Republic of China.
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